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Windows 11 now supports HDR wallpapers in JXR format

A Windows 11 logo

Microsoft is working on making its operating system more friendly to high dynamic range (HDR) monitors. Windows 11 preview build 23516, released in the Dev Channel on August 2, 2023, introduced HDR wallpaper support, allowing consumers with compatible hardware an set high dynamic range wallpapers using images in JXR format.

You can try the new feature by updating your system to build 23516 or higher. Next, check if your monitor supports high dynamic range by heading to Settings > System > Display > HDR. If the display does support HDR, you can set JXR pictures as your desktop background. Here is how to do that:

  1. Download an HDR image in JXR format. Microsoft provides samples you can download here for testing.
  2. Open the Settings app and navigate to Settings > Personalize > Personalize your background > Picture > Browse photos.
  3. Select the JXR file you want to set as the desktop background.

If you use more than one display with different technology support (for example, one with HDR and one without), Windows 11 will adapt the background according to each monitor's capabilities. Microsoft also recommends using the HDR Calibration app from the Microsoft Store to ensure the best image quality when connecting external displays to your computer.

The initial HDR background support in Windows 11 currently undergoes testing in the Windows Insider program, so expect potential instabilities, bugs, and rough surfaces. For example, Microsoft says some laptops with HDR displays may experience issues with high dynamic range wallpapers.

You can find more information about build 23516 and the features it introduced here.

For those unfamiliar, JXR, or JPEG XR (eXtended Range), is Microsoft's proprietary image compression standard with multiple improvements over the regular JPEG. Announced in 2007, the format offers improved compression, lossless support, better color accuracy, embedded ICC (International Color Consortium) color profiles, transparency, and more.

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